Kenny Atkinson Is Reportedly A ‘Strong Contender’ To Join The Clippers As An Assistant

Just days before the 2019-20 NBA season came to a screeching halt in March, Kenny Atkinson parted ways with the Brooklyn Nets. More than seven months later, Atkinson is still on the coaching market but, on Thursday evening, a report emerged from Marc Stein of the New York Times tying the 53-year-old coach to a new home. Stein reports that Atkinson is a “strong contender” to join the staff of the L.A. Clippers under newly-hired head coach Tyronn Lue.

Prior to his arrival in Brooklyn, Atkinson was the lead assistant under Mike Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks and, given his pedigree, he may even be overqualified for this particular role. However, the Clippers seem to be putting together quite a staff under Lue, with Stein also reporting that former Hawks and Bucks head coach Larry Drew will be involved (and prior reporting putting Chauncey Billups on staff), as well as the potential for Heat assistant Dan Craig.

Though Lue has experience as a title-winning head coach in Cleveland, it is never a bad thing to bring top-flight minds aboard when attempting to compete for a championship. As such, Atkinson is a great hire for the Clippers, especially when accounting for his strong background as an offensive coach that excels in player development. It remains to be seen as to what Lue’s full staff will look like, but owner Steve Ballmer will likely spare no expense, and Atkinson immediately becomes one of the best assistants in the NBA.